18 May 2007

21 NABA: Nuova Accademia di Belli Arti Milano

The official reason for me to be in Italy during the first two weeks of May was to give a lecture at NABA: Nuova Accademia di Belli Arti Milano. It is a private, small, interesting design academy in Milan, in the area near Romolo station - quite nice. The school is located in the building compound where there is also an Italian language school. The school offers many interesting academic programs including exchange programs with design schools from all over the world. One of the most interesting features about the school is that all professors are part-time. They have a real design practice outside school. In this way, the students would gain a lot of benefits from professor's experience, worldview and connections. Here is the link--> www.naba.it

The school compound.

This is the exhibition of the students during Salone del Mobile in Milan (Milan Furniture Fair) 2007.

I was invited by Anna Barbara who is the director of Fashion & Textile program of the school. Actually Anna is an architect (also a very good friend of mine) who has been working on 'sense in architecture'. She just published a book "Invisible Architecture: Experiencing Places through the Sense of Smell" with Anthony Perliss by Skira Publishing House, in both English and Italian. Very interesting indeed. Domus Magazine (May 2007) just gave a very positive review on the book too.

The series of the lecture is called 'Mecoledi at NABA" (Wednesday at NABA. Every Wednesday they invite interesting people to give a lecture. I was there to give a lecture with Chi Ti Nan from Taiwan.

My lecture was on "Dressing the Environment". It was part of my research with the students in my Asian Architecture Class, "Fragile Wall", which is an investigation on non-permanent elements in Asian Architecture. In a way, textile or textile-like material is often used in this kind of creation of space / environment. It is not yet a very concrete theory on anything, it is more 'work-in-progress' investigation on the subject.

'Tung' decorations that signifies sacred space.

A life-extension ceremony in the north of Thailand, where sacred space is created through the grid of sacred ropes tied with a Buddha Image.

A Market in Taichung, Taiwan, with the movable textile roof - my favourite example!

A small tent for Prilgrim Buddhist Monks.

I also showed some of our design works, but some of you already knew.. so useless to show here.
Then Chi Ti-Nan gave a lecture on 'Micro-Urbanism'. It is his theory about urbanism in a small scale inspired also by the theory of Feng-Shui and I-Ching of Taoism applied with our contemporary city condition. He has been explored the theory through practice and workshops for some time. He has a very interesting website: http://www.microurbanism.net/

This is his Micro urbanism project in Istanbul. It is small square in the middle of downtown.

Chi's research on Nanging, China.

Our lecture ended in the heavy rains... Unbelievably heavy...At the end of the lecture I also met a Thai student who studying there. Very nice. But did not have a chance to talk much to him because people were waiting for us for a dinner. :(

Although altogether my lecture and Chi's lecture were a bit strange for those young Italian students, hope they got some idea/image of what is going on the other side of the world. Until next time. :)


Anonymous said...

very nice student exhibition indeed. :)

urbanomania said...

Is the Asian Architecture Class conducted at Chulalongkorn U.? Is it for Bachelor or Master course?

Students nowadays really have a better chance to learn on such interesting research topic.

Kids out there! Please know that you are very lucky! Now pay attention in the class! ok?!

deaw said...

as seen in some thai ghost movies, we can use the sacred rope to create boundary between 'life' and 'death' as well.so, you can sit in that space with your friends,relax yourself under a big tree ,and then you can talk to the ghost without any injured..so,it's not only to make a sacred space but also it's mean that "we're saved here".. tho it's in the dark dark grave yard ... :)

P'Aon said...

My Asian Architecture Class officially is a master level class, but most of the students enrolled are the 4th and 5th year of Bachelor level ka. Thanks for your comment ja.

p'aon said...

hey deaw, the sacred space defined by the rope you said is one of my very first examples in the lecture. actually, it is also very strong in japanese shintoism idea of creating space. :)

miel said...

hi. i found ur blog by chance. i am currently a student in shanghai. i have a friend who is doing related stuffs like u all. perhaps we can find out from each other and see how we can learn from each other.

you can email me through:

cheers, miel.